Southpaw Bar & Sushi: The art of pairing food with whisky

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Sat next to car repair workshops and hardware shops, Southpaw Bar and Sushi is a hidden gem and the island's latest attempt at diving deeper into our cups and pairing plates with heavier pours of whiskies and bourbons. With our restaurant scene awashed with wine and beer dinner options (the latter being a rarity as well), Southpaw is a lovely respite for jaded tipple pairing punters.

Whisky drunk neat always it the perfect mean to bookend a meal, the idea of a sit -down dinner pickled with spirit forward imbibes; maybe an ounce or so to invigorate the palate en route to the appetiser and a heavier sherry casked pour to complement the dessert. But that's where the fun stops, the resolution with the fish course or aburi salmon not something that can be fathom by most. Southpaw is where you find a solution to that wratched gap in the market. And why not? Why don't great whiskies bump the Bordeaux from beside those de rigueur plates of beef?

[Weekend Pick]: Potato Head Folk for killer burgers and cocktails

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It's Friday. What could be more perfect than grounded meat seared to Maillard reaction glory between two sweet slices of buns? Maybe that old-fashioned you're holding in your other hand while studying the bewitching cross-sectional view of the burger. A burger is a simple premise, but doing them well is a dark art. For me, Potato Head Folk has always been on my radar (view here and here) and in a world where consistency is scarce, repeated visits have proven their culinary pedigree.

But first, the illicit goods.

Morganfield's: 5 years of Sticky Bones and a Spare Ribs GIVEAWAY!

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Morganfield's claims to serve up the best ribs in town and we were invited to make our own judgement calls.

Saturday night picks - Chikin for feisty Szechuan yakitori and Asian inspired tipples

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Spice devils! Step right up! Chikin, a new fusion joint to join the throngs of half-blood variants in the precinct offers something a little different. Western influences find no place here as the kitchen combines the founders' love for Japanese yakitori and Szechuan Shao Kao (BBQ meats). An extremely underrated marriage resulting from the co-founder's  Ms Tay Eu-Ten frequent visits to Chengdu.

Much to my amusement, there is no overt restaurant plagiarism here, the kooky result making me feel   at home instantly. Red and purple hues wash the surfaces of the shop-length bar counter. Barely a few steps in and I swiftly relegated myself to bar-fly status -  plopping myself down and perusing the cocktails list with enthusiasm.

OSO Ristorante: Italian restaurants takes to newer heights at its new location @ OASIA Hotel Downtown

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The real question is whether or not the food delivers on the same front as its new established heights off the ground.

OSO Ristorante previously located on Bukit Pasoh Road maintains its rigour and unmistakable melancholy in its set-up. White, stiff starched linen greets table tops, the oddly angled ginormous mirrors pandering to your stalkerish ways of taking stolen glanced at your picture perfect date. Don't get me wrong, it's a gorgeous space, the dry aging cabinet behind the high counter and the cheese room stowed away at the entrance providing inspirations for the meal to evolve. However, the real anchor in the equation is the emergence of a blue oasis, the sight of OASIA Hotel downtown's swimming pool through tall glass windows that provides a stark contrast and balances out the grandeur in the space.

Braseiro Restaurant: Steaks and the whole she-bang at just less than $20.

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Remember the steak article that I did a year back regarding 28 Juicy Steaks under $30? Truth is, I never really got round to trying all those on the list for fear of gout. However, a year has past and it has been my fortune to be able to continue the stake out, this time extending my footprint to the far east of the island.

As far as affordable steaks go, Braserio in Joo Chiat is up there with my personal favourites of The Betterfield and iSTEAKS. It takes little convincing to know that you've stumbled upon a bargain; one step into the establishment and the throngs of diners, large families with every member working their way through individual steaks with voracious appetites affirming the affordable yet luxurious deal.